Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Lentils, Fennel, and Kale

Good morning!

I have a new recipe for you all today — now that vacation is over and I’m back to school (today marks the first day of my final semester of graduate school classes), I’m excited to start cooking and sharing recipes again. Especially for dinner!


I was in the mood for something healthy and creative last night so Matt and I came up with an adaptation of a recipe I found in Bob Greene’s book 20 Years Younger. I was sent this book awhile ago via the blog — the book itself is pretty basic/what everyone already knows but the recipes sound good!


Braised Chicken with Potatoes, Lentils, Fennel, and Kale

Serves 4

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: ~45 minutes

This healthy dish is perfect for a winter night when you want something warm and comforting but not heavy.


  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 3 to 4 chicken breasts (we just used one package worth)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 cup mushrooms, chopped
  • 3/4 cup red wine (chicken broth would also work well)
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 large sprig of rosemary
  • 1 cup potatoes, chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry lentils
  • 1 cup sliced fennel bulb
  • 2 cups chopped kale
  • 1 tsp. salt (omit if using salty chicken broth instead of wine)
  • 1 tsp. pepper


1) Preheat oven to 325 degrees.

2) Heat a large oven-safe pot with a lid over medium heat; pour in olive oil and place chicken in a single layer. Cook, turning once, about 10 minutes (or until browned).

3) Remove chicken and add onion, garlic, and mushrooms to the pot. Cook/stir about 3 minutes. Add wine, water, rosemary, potatoes, and lentils, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.

4) Add chicken, fennel, kale, salt, and pepper. Cover pot and place in oven. Cook 30 minutes; then remove from oven, remove rosemary sprig, and enjoy!


We actually cooked everything in the oven for an hour, which is what the original recipe recommended, but it seemed way too long — everything was a bit mushier than I like and the chicken got kind of dry. I changed the instructions to cook for 30 minutes; I think hopefully that will be better if any of you guys try this, and it will still be plenty of time to cook the chicken through (just check to make sure it’s cooked through before you eat it!). The original recipe also called for a full cup each of wine and water, but it didn’t all cook off, so I reduced that in the recipe too. This is generally how I cook — see what works, change what doesn’t. Cooking is all about experimentation! :) Other changes we made to the original recipe were to add potatoes and mushrooms, use chicken breasts instead of legs, and to increase the amount of garlic. Next time, I might try chicken broth instead of wine, too — I think it would add a nicer flavor. Plus, the wine made everything a weird color. ;)

Anyway! Tasty recipe. Matt was so-so on it, but I was a fan. Good thing I’m the one eating the leftovers!

I’m off to get organized and then head to class. Happy Monday, friends!


  1. 1

    This sounds delicious! Hmmm I’ve never tried fennel before :)

  2. 3

    Mmm this looks really really delicious!

  3. 4

    I have never made fennel before. I have usually left it out of recipes, this looks delicious!

  4. 6

    Oh my, that looks so good. I don’t like fennel though, it taste like licorice. What could I put in it’s place. Hmmmm, I’ll think on it. Can’t wait to try it. Last semester, good job.

  5. 9

    Mmmm…this sounds so comforting! I tried fennel for my very first time this year and I just love the way it mingles with the rest of the flavors in soups. Lovely.

    Can’t wait to try this, thanks so much for sharing! :D

  6. 11

    This looks soo good! I think I may have to make this sometime this week!

    Nice job :D

  7. 12

    That looks so delicious! I’m definitely bookmarking this one!

  8. 13

    I agree–cooking really is all experimentation!

  9. 14

    Question: Can this be adapted for a slow cooker?

    Love your recipes! Tried two last week and I’m back for more!

  10. 16
    Betsey Neslin says

    Fennel ends up tasting more like a delicious onion, not licorice. With or without it, I like to perk up kale with a little balsamic vinegar. I added 1/2 cup white wine instead of red, and half cup bouillon, but it was still too much liquid, because I omitted the lentils. I may try it with lentils next time, but maybe even without the chicken. I also made enough for leftovers and used more mushrooms (12 oz) and kale, about 3 cups. The potatoes were delicious.

    I would only lightly brown the chicken, because mine came out too chewy. Perhaps that is why it needed to be cooked for an hour. Maybe you could put it in the oven for half an hour with the onions and mushrooms, take it out and then add the other vegetables and saute/simmer briefly before going back in for 30 more minutes. Or I slice the breast in two thinner pieces so they don’t need to cook so long. I don’t have a sure fire way of making chicken tender unless it is first coated in flour or marinated.

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